Heating Efficiency Tips for Homeowners

Home Improvement – Winter can be an enchanting time of the year when snow is falling and ice forms on tree branches. Although colder temperatures can bring beauty to a landscape, these lower temperatures can also make living in your home uncomfortable if you have a heating unit that is not working efficiently. If you’re concerned that your heating unit is working well, there are many ways to check the efficiency of the unit. HVAC technicians can help you find ways to keep your home heating in running smooth.

Upgrades improve heating efficiency

One of the best upgrades for any system is to make it more efficient. Homeowners can perform their own energy audit and look for the places where heat is escaping. The first thing any HVAC technician will look at is the thermostat to make sure it is working correctly. Homeowners can check the temperature in the house and make sure the thermostat is turning the system on and off at correct times. A simple thermometer can also be used to measure temperature differences from room to room and indicate the system may not be big enough for the size of the house. Windows and doors are the prime areas for energy loss through cracks that are not properly insulated. A simple candle held around the edges of each window and door can signal air flowing in through the cracks. If the flame stands still the seams are sealed tight. But, if it flickers, then the seams need to be caulked to close them up. Feeling along the walls can indicate cold spots where the insulation is not doing its job. Consider the Unit Size Many times the problem is the actual unit itself. The unit does not generate enough heat to keep the whole house comfortable.

HVAC contractors use a formula to determine how big a furnace is needed to keep it comfortable

The country is divided into five climate zones that illustrate how cold the area can be in the winter. Each zone has a value that is multiplied by the square footage of the house. This determines how many BTU’s the system needs to have to keep the home comfortable. Furnaces are manufactured in 15000 BTU increments, so installers will choose the closest size to the home’s needs. The system can be larger or smaller, but sometimes installers will choose one that is too small and not able to keep up with the demand of the home. The newest trend is to split the home into zones and install two smaller units that combine to use less energy than one large unit. Maintenance Checks Many HVAC companies offer maintenance programs for customers’ HVAC systems. These programs are designed to check that each part is in proper working order. If the system is not working correctly, parts can wear out more quickly and use more energy to work. They will also clean the vents and ducts to keep air flowing smoothly. The technician will inspect the heating element. For gas units, they will clean up any soot that has accumulated on the burners and will check that the fuel lines are tight and free of kinks. For electrical units, they will check the element has not corroded too much and the electrical connections are good.

Furnace BTU Calculator

Chart showing how many BTUs per square foot are needed to comfortably heat a home based on geographic location.
Locate your climate zone on the map above and provide your square footage and use the calculator to find how many BTUs your heating system should have.

BTU Heating Calculator

Note – These calculations are estimated and will vary based on a few factors, including quality of insulation in the structure, windows, etc. A personalized, professional consultation is needed in order to provide specific BTU information for your home or business.

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When to call a professional for help

Homeowners can only do so much before they need to call a local HVAC company to assess the system. HVAC companies rely on unique testing methods to see how the unit is performing and can also test the airflow from each vent to ensure each room receives enough air to stay comfortable.

Efficient heating in northeastern homes eases pressure on the heating system, allows the unit to work longer and better, and uses less energy. Get in touch with an HVAC technician to find out how you can achieve heating efficiency in your home

Note – This article was written with support of AI.